December 7, 2009
PETA is not the most popular kid on the block. Between antagonizing meat-eaters and radicalizing the use of naked ad campaigns, the animal rights group has made more than a couple enemies.
This is the first time, however, that the lawful, nonviolent organization has been officially classified as a “terrorist threat.”
[efoods]In a new security form circulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the federal department asks animal experimentation facilities whether they’ve been confronted by a handful of “terrorist” groups, including the Earth Liberation Front, known for their use of arson and explosives; the Animal Liberation Front, which popularized property destruction as a form of protest; and, yes, PETA — best known for distributing gory videos of factory farming.
While the USDA form doesn’t necessarily signal anything, some fear repercussions. Will Potter at Green Is The New Red suggests that PETA’s new classification may point to a change in the government’s willingness to charge nonviolent protestors under new antiterror legislation.
Consider the case of Adriana Stumpo, Nathan Pope, Joseph Buddenberg and Maryam Khajavi, who are facing charges under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act over chanting and intent to sidewalk chalk.
“Industries that rely on factory farming,” explains Brian Merchant on Treehugger.com, “may have the lobbying muscle to get PETA listed as a terrorist threat for their benefit.”